Indian boatmen on fast unto death campaign in Jaffna prison

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 17 February 2004, 15:52 GMT]
Sixty seven Indian boatmen captured in the northern sea when poaching and now being kept in remand in Jaffna prison have started a fast unto death campaign demanding that their cases against them be expedited and those who are not charged be sent back to India immediately, prison sources said.

The boatmen began their fast Monday.

Prison officials Tuesday informed law courts in the Jaffna district that they are not in a position to produce these Indian boatmen in courts as they have been fasting in the prison, legal sources said.

The Sri Lanka Navy personnel and local fishermen captured 67 Indian boatmen and several Indians in the northern sea in recently. Later except boatmen other fishermen were released and were handed over to the Indian coast guard by the SLN in midsea on the court orders, legal sources said.

However the 67 Indian boatmen have been kept in Jaffna prison on court orders pending legal action against them.

Of the 67 Indians, sixteen have been indicted in Jaffna High Court and inquiry in these cases are pending.

The Police are waiting for the Attorney General's instruction to file plaints against the rest, legal sources said.


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